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  Is Sen. Jim Webb Hinting at a Party Switch?
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ContributorScottĀ³ 
Last EditedScottĀ³  Dec 09, 2010 10:49pm
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CategorySpeculative
AuthorMatt Lewis
News DateWednesday, November 10, 2010 05:00:00 AM UTC0:0
Description"David Paul Kuhn snagged a fascinating interview with Virginia Sen. Jim Webb.

As you may recall, Webb was secretary of Navy under Reagan, but in 2006 ran as a Democrat against then-Sen. George Allen, ultimately defeating him.

Kuhn's interview may spark speculation that Webb is laying the groundwork for a future party switch. Webb voted for health care reform, but tells Kuhn:

"I told him this was going to be a disaster," Webb recalls. "The president believed it was all going to work out."

Kuhn goes on to note that Webb "identifies himself as a Democrat. But he has few Democratic leaders to identify with."

Related: Joe Manchin Is Not Switching Parties, Democrat's Spokesman Says

Policy differences aside, a practical reason Webb might consider changing parties is that in two years he could face either the current Virginia governor or attorney general or possibly a rematch against George Allen. Webb was able to win in 2006, a very tough year for Republicans, after Allen uttered the word "macaca," a pejorative term aimed at a Webb supporter of Indian decent. But for Webb, getting re-elected in 2012 could be tougher.

Of course, Webb might have a hard time convincing conservatives to back him if he does switch."
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